What Is “Bedside Manner” for Lawyers, and How Can Your Legal Marketing Firm Capture It?

What Is “Bedside Manner” for Lawyers, and How Can Your Legal Marketing Firm Capture It?

What Is “Bedside Manner” for Lawyers, and How Can Your Legal Marketing Firm Capture It?

The aptitude for speaking with clients that you’ve honed over years of dedicated practice is your own form of a physician’s bedside manner.

“Bedside manner” is a term frequently applied to doctors which describes the way a medical professional communicates and interacts with their patients. After years of training in the sciences to see the body as interlocking parts, physicians must also learn to treat the patient’s humanity: their worries, their pain, and the profound emotions associated with a serious diagnosis.

A plaintiff lawyer develops a similar skillset for interacting with clients. After years of studying the mechanics of the law, you too must develop bedside manner. This involves communicating to clients without talking over them or coming across as condescending. You must help with their worries, their pain, and the profound emotions associated with catastrophic injuries or violations, and your legal marketing firm should help facilitate that for your online presence.

At Obu Interactive, we understand the differences between the way lawyers communicate among fellow legal professionals, and the way the everyday layperson speaks. Our services can help bridge the gap between your vitally detailed legalese and the general understanding of your potential clients.

While on one hand our services include executing the tech upgrades and search engine optimization for your website, the other part of what we do for legal marketing is match your firm’s tone, brand, and manner. In that way, we effectively communicate the essential services you provide to the general public. Basically: we deliver the art of argument.

To discuss your firm’s needs, contact us directly at (800) 619-5944 for a free consultation. To learn more about how we translate your unique in-person manner through website copy, practice pages, and blogs, read on.

What Are the Four Core Functions of Lawyers?

As an attorney, you have your official duties and ethical conduct responsibilities, and then you have all of those unofficial, unwritten core functions that come with the work of litigating. While “develop bedside manner” isn’t on any duty-bound list or contract, it is a skill that helps you in representing your clients.

These four core functions are the abilities you need to be excellent at what you do:

  • Research: Staying informed on the law, researching specific statutes and regulations, and reading previous court interpretations.
  • Analyze: Interpreting the information you’ve researched to form the basis of a negotiation or argument.
  • Represent: The work of consulting with your client, the acts of writing, filing, and following up with legal documents, and then showing up on their behalf before opposing counsel, courts, or government agencies.
  • Communicate: Your communication skills are crucial in updating your client, working with your colleagues and staff, and succeeding in court.

Communication is also the skill most critical for getting your name out there to the prospective clients who need your services. Fortunately, reaching potential clients happens to be one of the areas you can delegate out through the assistance of a legal marketing team.

No one else can interpret the law on your behalf — that requires your expertise. While you can lean on research, you’re the only one who can craft the argument and strategy you’ll execute.

However, when it comes to outreach, a legal marketing agency can streamline communication between you and your future clients. This frees up your time and abilities for the specialized, billable work that only you can do.

Contact Obu Interactive at (800) 619-5944 to assign out the work other professionals can handle, and clear your calendar for the tasks only you can perform.


What Interpersonal Skills Should a Lawyer Have?

After securing your qualifications and staying on top of all the research, writing, and internal management that keeps a law firm afloat, what are the bedrock interpersonal skills that make clients like and trust their attorneys?

The skills that make up a lawyer’s “bedside manner” include:

Prominent Principles

Most people don’t go around announcing their morals and ethics, but an attorney must be able to relay these essential assets:

  • What makes you outraged on behalf of your client?
  • What is the fire that fuels your crusade for justice?
  • Beyond making a living, why do you put in the work?

When clients understand where you’re coming from, they’re more likely to trust and hire you. “Attorney Bio” pages and “About Our Law Firm” pages are not just placeholders on your website, they are excellent ways to make a digital first impression. This is also true of any award badges placed on your website — it isn’t boasting, it’s communicating your firm’s hard-earned bona fides, qualities that are greatly appreciated by your colleagues and your clients.

If you don’t inform your potential clients of these accomplishments, how else can you reassure readers that you are thoroughly vetted and trustworthy? Your case results show that you’re a good lawyer, but it’s also important to tell prospective clients why.

Active Listening

It’s a “soft” skill in high demand for many employers, and every potential client is another job interview for you. Active listening in person involves asking relevant questions, offering verbal affirmations, leaving space for responses, and demonstrating concern either with touch or facial expressions.

When writing website content for prospective clients, active listening skills can be approximated in many ways, such as:

  • Answering their most frequently asked questions (FAQs) on main practice area pages
  • Generating relevant blog posts that lead people to your contact info
  • Employing the correct emotive language for each topic

For instance, someone who’s been in a car accident may be angry that the insurance company won’t pay what’s fair. In comparison, the family member of a loved one with a catastrophic brain injury from that accident is likely grieving and scared — in that case, the language of outrage and action should not be used where words of comfort and help are needed.

Promise Keeping

Have you ever had customer service say they’ll call you back, and then they actually do? That feeling of surprising gratitude lets you know that you’re respected, valued, and the person you’re speaking to is dependable. Returning calls, keeping clients informed and updated, and following through on every promise you make builds loyalty that money cannot buy.

When you work with the marketing team at Obu, you’ll see that we practice promise-keeping by supplying clear answers to every question posed to readers:

  • We deliver: No shallow “clickbait” titles or misleading headlines. If the question is “How long do I have to file my case?” or “How can a lawyer help me?” we answer it directly and with credible, authoritative sources to back up any numbers or claims.
  • We respect: No teasing people or toying with their pain points. We understand that readers on your website are looking for an experienced attorney for a serious injury, a sensitive assault case, or a wrongful death. If you’re ready to answer their call, then we make sure they have your number and contact info at their fingertips.
  • We inform: No weak imitations. We do thorough research when generating content for your firm. We take in complex topics and translate them to provide a simple “yes” or “no” answer (followed by a cited explanation) to the concrete yes-or-no questions your clients may have.

The aptitude for speaking with clients that you’ve honed over years of dedicated practice is your own form of a physician’s bedside manner. Just as you’ve built your office and network of contacts, we at Obu Interactive have built up our team — competence is the bare minimum, what we all want are artisans of the profession who are in it for the right reasons.

Your “bedside manner” is everything that makes you a compassionate lawyer rather than a simply competent lawyer. A relatable professional, an accessible expert, and a trustworthy strategizer.


What Does Good Bedside Manner Look Like for Lawyers?

The ability to be a relatable professional, an accessible expert, and a trustworthy strategizer is a lawyer’s bedside manner in action. Essentially, it’s everything that makes one a compassionate lawyer rather than a simply competent lawyer. It’s subtle touches like these that often form the basis of client referrals.

The writing you do as a lawyer must be precise, unsentimental, and succinct. Many law programs and institutions work to remove “purple prose” and storytelling from student writing, and yet you still need those skills if you’re a trial attorney speaking to a jury, and when consulting for clients. Our legal marketing agency can maintain your distinct manner throughout your online ads, press, and web pages so that your first impression is your best foot forward.

How an attorney speaks to a judge, a jury, or a client changes based on the needs of the situation, and a full-service marketing agency can capture your unique manner and portray it online.

Ready to translate your unique bedside manner to your website’s persona? Contact Obu Interactive at (800) 619-5944 to manage your digital marketing presence.

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